This blog reports events and interesting tidbits from Rensselaer, Indiana and the surrounding area.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Pulaski Centennial

When I see a garage sale, I often stop to browse, but rarely buy anything. A few Sundays ago I found a booklet that was the souvenir program for the centennial celebration of Pulaski County and also Winamac. It was only a quarter--I had to buy it.
I showed it to a former colleague who used to live in Winamac, and she found some parents or grandparents of her husband listed. She also said that today no one gets very involved in Winamac. That certainly was not true in 1939. They had a very ambitious program for the centennial. Included was a huge re-enactment of the entire history of Winamac that was described in some detail (but not shown here.)
At least as interesting as the articles in the booklet was the advertising. It seemed that just about every business in Pulaski County had put in an ad. Most were very simple. An exception was Hoch Hardware, which had a two-page spread. Back in 1939 you could buy a tractor for less than $500. Of course back then earning a dollar an hour was a decent wage, and you could mail a letter for three cents. If you multiply by 12 or 15, you get a more realistic view of what those prices would have looked like back then.
It would have been a lot more interesting to me if the booklet had Jasper County content, but it does give some insight into what small-town life was like 70 years ago.

2 comments:

brianc said...

Hoch Equipment Co. was run by the family of well-known Winamac entrepreneur Herb Hoch. He took over the farm implement dealership begun by his father in the days before the "traction engine" revolutionized agriculture.

Herb's wife Martha was the daughter of Francisco Derroe "Frank" Baughman, and granddaughter of Cyrus Posey, both of whom were prominent businessmen in Medaryville around the turn of the 20th century. I own the stately Italianate home in Medaryville built by Posey in 1892. The Baughmans lived there after Posey's death.

Herb was also nationally known as a breeder of hunting dogs, specifically beagles. My grandfather, Joe Capouch, boarded Herb's dogs on his farm northeast of Medaryville, and Herb and Martha gave my parents an art-deco Sunbeam "Coffeemaster" as a wedding gift.

Herb and Martha's great-grandson Jed Behny graduated from Saint Joe's in the late 1990s.

Anonymous said...

Wow! This is an interesting comment and addition to your Rensselaer Adventures.